In an up-and-down weekend series against the Mets, the Nationals dropped Sunday afternoon’s finale, 4-0.
The trip to Citi Field was a roller coaster of results for Washington -- a 6-0 shutout loss on Friday behind 15 strikeouts from Jacob deGrom, followed by a commanding 7-1 bounce-back victory on Saturday, only to be blanked the following afternoon. With two scoreless performances this weekend, the Nats have been shut out a Majors-most five times this season.
Take a look at three things that stood out from the Nationals’ matinee defeat to the Mets.
Turner exits early
Trea Turner sustained a left forearm contusion after being hit by a 91.6-mph splitter from Taijuan Walker in the sixth inning. He exited the game for precautionary reasons, and X-rays were negative.
The Nationals have an off-day on Monday, and Turner’s status for Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., will be determined. The team already has been playing without starting right fielder Juan Soto (left shoulder strain) and with a shorthanded pitching staff.
“We’ll see if we get the swelling [down] a little bit [Monday], but he feels like he could go,” manager Dave Martinez said. “But we’ll see how he is. It’s his left, lead arm for swinging. He took some swings in the cage and it just got stiff on him, so we just wanted to take him out and get X-rays.”
Corbin’s rocky road
Starter Patrick Corbin continues to struggle with establishing consistency this season after falling to 0-3 with a 10.47 ERA.
The southpaw allowed four runs on seven hits (two home runs) and three walks in four innings against the Mets. Corbin felt like his slider -- his go-to pitch -- was spinning out and not as strong early in the game as he would have liked.
“For me, he’s got to come out and attack the strike zone,” Martinez said. “He’s so much better when he’s 0-2, 1-2 on hitters. Then his slider plays a lot better.”
Corbin allowed 16 runs (15 earned) over 6 1/3 innings in his first two starts, but he had turned things around on Tuesday with a scoreless six-inning performance against the Cardinals. Sunday was more reflective of his earlier starts, though.
“It’s frustrating,” Corbin said. “You just try to learn from it. It’s just tough not being able to go out there and do my job. … You’ve got to just continue to do your work in between and try to turn things around.”
Robles’ learning process on the bases
The Nats’ bats were quieted, and their only extra-base hit -- a leadoff double by Victor Robles in the third -- was wasted when Robles tried to stretch it into a triple. Third-base coach Bob Henley motioned for him to stop at second.
With no outs and Corbin on deck, Martinez described Robles' baserunning decision as a “tough read.” He noted that the Nationals’ goal is getting to third base with fewer than two outs.
"It’s all about thinking about the game and where we’re at in the game,” Martinez said. “In that situation, we’re all taught that with no outs, you don’t make the first out at third base. But he plays hard, and we all know that. I’ve got to keep having these conversations with him, keep talking to him, and he’ll get it. I don’t want to take the aggressiveness away from him, but he’s got to understand the situation of the game.”
Robles has been looking to make his mark on the basepaths this season. The speedy center fielder has recorded one stolen base, but there have been notable caught-stealing moments, too. With the Nats trailing the Dodgers 1-0 on April 9, Robles attempted to steal second with no outs in the eighth. He was thrown out on the attempt.
“At this level, you learn day by day,” Robles said. “There’s moments when I’ve learned to know that I have to be more aggressive, and sometimes I have to hold myself. But I’m still learning, and little by little, I’m learning more and more.”